The number of fatalities in the construction industry climbed 5% last year, to 775 from 738 in 2011, marking the first increase since 2006, according to preliminary data from the Department of Labor. "One of the things that we have been noticing is that the construction spending rates have been going up faster than employment numbers, in terms of percentage, so perhaps the [fatality] rate is up because you've got a comparable number of workers doing more work than they were a year ago," said Brian Turmail, spokesman of the Associated General Contractors of America. The results have led the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to strengthen its initiatives for worker safety.

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